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ACS Nano. 2013 Feb 26;7(2):1566-72. doi: 10.1021/nn3053582. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Controllable atomic scale patterning of freestanding monolayer graphene at elevated temperature.

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Kavli Institute of Nanoscience, Delft University of Technology, Lorentzweg 1, 2628 CJ Delft, The Netherlands.


We show that by operating a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with a 0.1 nm 300 kV electron beam, one can sculpt free-standing monolayer graphene with close-to-atomic precision at 600 °C. The same electron beam that is used for destructive sculpting can be used to image the sculpted monolayer graphene nondestructively. For imaging, a scanning dwell time is used that is about 1000 times shorter than for the sculpting. This approach allows for instantaneous switching between sculpting and imaging and thus fine-tuning the shape of the sculpted lattice. Furthermore, the sculpting process can be automated using a script. In this way, free-standing monolayer graphene can be controllably sculpted into patterns that are predefined in position, size, and orientation while maintaining defect-free crystallinity of the adjacent lattice. The sculpting and imaging processes can be fully computer-controlled to fabricate complex assemblies of ribbons or other shapes.

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